Public Perception of Cross infection Control in Dentistry in Nigeria

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Sofola, O.O
Uti, O.G
Onigbinde, O.O
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FDI/World Dental Press
Objectives: To assess the perception of patients on the use of gloves and facemasks in dental practice, methods of sterilisation and the risk of cross-infection. Methods: Questionnaire survey of patients attending two teaching hospitals and a private dental clinic in Lagos, Nigeria. Results: 228 respondents returned the questionnaires. Nearly all (98.6%) regarded the use of gloves as necessary and 189 (82.9%) did not mind the use of gloves, only 129 (56.6%) felt the facemask was necessary although 132 (57.9%) did not mind its use. More than half of the respondents (54%) felt they could contract an infection in the dental clinic and 43% of them identified HIV as a risk. This response was significantly affected by educational status (p<0.05). 140 patients (61.4%) would not attend a clinic if they knew that HIV patients were treated there. Females were significantly more unwilling to attend (p<0.05). Conclusion: While this survey shows a high level of acceptance of the use of gloves, there is a glaring lack of knowledge and acceptance of the use of the facemask indicating a need for more effective public enlightenment on the use of barrier methods. It also reveals a great deal of fear for HIV among Nigerians.
Public, Perception, Infection Control